We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, February 8, 2019

Macron Tactics Against Yellow Vests Have Nothing to Do with Public Safety, Everything to Do with Global Politics

Click here to access article by Vanessa Beeley from Mint Press News (based in Minneapolis).

This independent British journalist brings her cameras to show us via her photos and videos what it is like on the battlefields of the streets of France. The capitalist government is obviously at war with the Gilets Jaunes who represent a cross section of ordinary people of France. The governments forces have added more vicious weapons to their arsenal, and their strategies reflect a desire to punish French people for protesting government policies that support the rich at their expense.
PARIS (Analysis)  — “For more than two months the people who come out into the streets are met with governmental repression. Since the 17th November 2018 we have been on the streets but we have not been listened to.” The statement from the Yellow Vests —  or Gilets Jaunes (GJs) as they are better known in France — was published just before Saturday February 2, 2019, when tens of thousands of GJs took to the streets of cities nationwide for Acte XII (Week 12) of the protests that have been a weekly event since they first began on November 17, 2018.

The GJ movement has taken France by storm since its sudden appearance after the increasingly unpopular President Emmanuel Macron introduced a number of measures that appeared to protect the French wealthy elite while penalising those already on the brink of poverty. The increase in the fuel tax was the final straw that broke the back of the already pressurized population struggling to make ends meet every month.
Beeley sums up what her cameras cannot show--the significance of these mass protests:
I saw environmental activists, anarchists, women’s rights movements, animal rights groups, human rights groups marching side by side. I heard animated political discussions among protesters and I saw children carried aloft on their parents shoulders blowing whistles and participating in an event that will surely shape their future. The march was a riot of color. For the first time in a very long time I felt a sense of optimism and belief in the power of the “little people” to reverse the tide of globalism and capitalist adventurism that is sweeping our world. As one of the posters for Acte XII stated: “The powerful will only stop dominating us when the little people stop crawling.”